Half-Witted, Merry & Mad – CD


Sometime in the 19th Century, Newcastle Society of Antiquities came in to the possession of a dusty old manuscript containing fiddle and pipes tunes. An elusive local figure called William Vickers had noted down almost 600 melodies between 1770 and 1772, in what seems to have been a concerted effort to collect tunes that were circulating in the area at the time. 250 years later, Andrew Cadie has decided to make an album of some of these tunes, arranging them for unaccompanied fiddle. Born in Berwick upon Tweed, Andrew Cadie spent 10 years as a busker, often playing as a lone fiddler on street corners throughout Europe. A short stint playing for the Newcastle Kingsmen rapper dancing team also helped develop an interest in the fiddle as a generator of rhythm, harmony and melody. Originally self-taught, Andrew was offered violin tuition at high school in Staffordshire, where the family had moved to by then. Teacher Alan Brown oozed enthusiasm and virtuosity and passed on a sense of the endless musical possibilities the violin could offer – this left a lasting impression on Andrew’s mind’s eye. After time spent in Spain and Germany, Andrew returned to North East England in order to study Folk and Traditional Music at Newcastle University. Amongst his main tutors were Kathryn Tickell, who herself grew up playing fiddle Northumbrian shepherd Willy Taylor, and Shetland fiddler Chris Stout, who for Andrew was like a folk version of Alan Brown, teasing all kinds of crazy rhythms and textures out of a tiny wooden box.

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CD – Half-Witted, Merry & Mad

Andrew Cadie. Half-Witted, Merry and Mad – CD Cover